28 October 2009

The New/Old World Championship Cycle

Remember this chart? The caption says that it 'details the new cycle and long term intentions of the new World Championship cycle'.

It was originally published as a supporting document for Tallinn Presidential Board Maps New World Chess Championship Cycle, dated 24 June 2007. In a post from 27 June 2007, New World Championship Cycle, I used a portion of the diagram to explain where FIDE was going with the concept.

Let's look at each of the events by year. First, 2007:-

  • 'Mexico 2007' was won by Anand.
  • 'Previous WCH match' was the Kramnik - Topalov match held in 2006.
  • 'World Cup 2007' was won by Kamsky.


  • 'UEP match' was won by Anand over Kramnik.
  • 'Challenger match' was won by Topalov over Kamsky.
  • 'Grand Prix 2008-2009' is ongoing with one more event, still unannounced, to be played.


  • 'World Cup 2009' will start next month.
  • 'World Ch match' is the Anand - Topalov match to be held April 2010.


  • 'Challenger match' was scrapped end-2008 and replaced by a Candidates event, to be held end-2010.
  • 'World Ch match' is not yet scheduled, but London has been given an option to bid on a 2012 match.
  • 'Grand Prix 2010-2011' is not yet announced and its future is uncertain.

It's clear that FIDE has not yet managed to create a stable World Championship cycle. Will the Grand Prix endure? The Candidates event? What will the next cycle, post 2010-2011, look like?

21 October 2009

ICCF World Championships (2009 Status)

A year has passed since I last checked Correspondence Chess Champions, at which time I posted the status in ICCF World Championships (2008 Status). Here is the current status. The asterisk ('*') means the winner is known, the PGN game scores are available, and I need to update my page.

20 2004-Started 2004-10-25
21*2005-08Oosterom, Joop J. van (NED)
22 2007-Started 2007-12-31
23 2007-Started 2007-12-31
24 2009-Started 2009-06-10

In last year's post on the 2008 Status, I marked the 2004+ winner as 'Lehikoinen, Pertti (FIN)', but there is still one game outstanding which could affect the final result. Why is it taking so long? It's a postal chess event, not an email event like the other ongoing championships.

14 October 2009

07 October 2009

Players at the 1993 PCA Qualifying Tournament

During its brief attempt to gain control of the World Chess Championship, the PCA held one qualification cycle, starting with the 1993 Groningen PCA Qualifying Tournament. Somewhat ironically, the players in that event appear to have been chosen according to FIDE rating.

The event was initially expected to have 50 participants, but was expanded to 54. Of those 54, all but two were rated over 2570. The two exceptions were Friso Nijboer (2555) and Zsuzsa Polgar (better known now as Susan; 2545). I imagine that Nijboer was invited by the organizers and that Polgar was invited because of her status as the world's highest rated woman.

The top seven finishers at the event, held in December 1993, would qualify for the PCA Candidate matches. Players rated over 2600 on FIDE's July 1993 rating list -- there were only two rating lists per year at that time -- who did not play at Groningen are listed below.

2815 Kasparov, Gary (RUS)
2760 Karpov, Anatoly (RUS)
2705 Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)
2685 Salov, Valery (RUS)
2670 Gelfand, Boris (BLR)
2665 Short, Nigel (ENG)
2655 Epishin, Vladimir (RUS)
2630 Jussupow, Artur (GER)
2625 Dautov, Rustem (GER)
2625 Andersson, Ulf (SWE)
2620 Timman, Jan (NED)
2620 Lautier, Joel (FRA)
2605 Speelman, Jonathan (ENG)

The list includes Kasparov, the reigning PCA champion, and Short, who was seeded into the Candidate matches after losing to Kasparov earlier in 1993, as well as Karpov and Timman, who had played the 'other' World Championship match, organized by FIDE. As for the other names, there is undoubtedly a small story behind their reasons not to participate.